NCAA Basketball Picks: Wright State vs. Valparaiso

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 1:10 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2013 1:10 PM GMT

The Wright State Raiders were picked to finish dead last in their conference before the season began, but can land an automatic spot in the upcoming NCAA tournament with a victory over the Valparaiso Crusaders Tuesday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Basketball odds for the Horizon League Championship, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Playing some solid basketball

Wright State has won and covered the spread in its last three games, including a 56-54 victory over the Detroit Titans as 7.5-point neutral-site underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the posted total of 136.5.

The Raiders are 5-8 straight up (SU) and 7-6 against the spread (ATS) as underdogs this year.

Streaking as well

Valparaiso was nearly knocked out of the tournament in the semifinal round, as it earned a 70-69 buzzer-beating victory over Green Bay as nine-point favorites, while going OVER the total of 130.5.

The Crusaders have won their last five games (3-2 ATS), as they try to improve upon their 11-6 ATS mark versus league opponents.

League darling(s)

College basketball handicappers need to realize that the Raiders were picked to finish dead last in the Horizon League standings before the season, as they possessed the 11th-youngest roster nationally. 

Wright State hasn’t started a senior the entire year, while it has played its last six games without leading scorer and rebounder Cole Darling, who averaged 11.3 points and 4.6 rebounds before suffering a foot injury.

Three times a charm

I’d normally look to play against a favorite in conference tournament play when it has won the first two meetings versus a foe, but the Crusaders are 18-3 in their last 21 games in this type of situation. 

Valparaiso has landed in this type of spot six times as a member of the Horizon League—coming away with a victory five times.

[gameodds]14/224337/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Crusaders as one of their college basketball picks Tuesday night, as they’ve gone 11-3 SU and 8-6 ATS versus teams that allow 64 points or less this season.

Valparaiso’s experience on the floor will be the major difference, as it earns a spot in this year’s NCAA tournament.

College Basketball Pick:  Valparaiso Crusaders -7 at Pinnacle

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